Leafs win

Video: Leafs (finally) beat the Bruins; X-Rays come back negative for Liles

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The Toronto Maple Leafs finally beat the Boston Bruins, a feat they hadn’t accomplished against their Northeast Division and Original Six foes in nearly two full years.

The Maple Leafs took a 3-0 lead – Frazer McLaren, known more for his toughness than scoring, recorded the winner in the third period – then held on for the 3-2 win.

It took only three goals on 13 shots for the Leafs. The Bruins, meanwhile, had 33 shots.

“I think that when you win a hockey game and you only get 13 shots, and the opposition – how many did they? I didn’t even look at it. Thirty-two, 33? I don’t think you can really say that was your game plan,” Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle told reporters after the game.

The Leafs, who honored their former captain Mats Sundin and his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, hadn’t beaten the Bruins since March 31 of 2011, as per NHL.com.

The Leafs won that game in a shootout.

Carlyle also offered an update on defenseman John-Michael Liles, who left the game in the second period after colliding awkwardly with Bruins forward Daniel Paille.

Carlyle called it a lower-body injury and that the X-ray was negative, meaning a sprain could be the eventual diagnosis, according to the Toronto Sun.

Leafs’ Liles leaves Saturday’s game against Bruins

Winnipeg Jets v Toronto Maple Leafs
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Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman John-Michael Liles left Saturday’s game against the Boston Bruins in the second period, after colliding with Daniel Paille.

Liles left the ice and was seen heading to the Leafs’ dressing room favoring his left leg, according to TSN.

Liles was a healthy scratch for the Leafs for 12 games. Tonight’s game was his fifth since being placed back into the Toronto lineup.




Video: Bruins’ Thornton fights Leafs’ Orr

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins

It took all of five minutes for tough guys Shawn Thornton of the Boston Bruins and Colton Orr of the Toronto Maple Leafs to get re-acquainted.

The two pugilists dropped the gloves early in the first period of Saturday’s game in Toronto – two seconds after the Leafs opened the scoring on a goal from Nazem Kadri.

Bruins’ Peverley peeved at being a healthy scratch

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders

Rich Peverley has had some time to let the feeling of being a healthy scratch sink in.

On Friday, one day after he was sat for the Boston Bruins’ 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators, Peverley admitted frustration over head coach Claude Julien’s decision.

“You definitely think about it a lot,” Peverley told CSNNE.com on Friday.

“You wouldn’t be a hockey player if you weren’t frustrated by it. But you need to take a positive out of it and that’s what I’m trying to do right now.

“Obviously you never want to be a healthy scratch. But it was a coach’s decision. I know I need to be a lot better. Hopefully from here on out, it will go a lot better and I can use it as motivation.”

The 30-year-old Peverley, who the Bruins acquired in a deal with Atlanta in February of 2011, just months before their Stanley Cup win, is struggling right now.

The center has just four goals and nine points in 28 games, but is also a minus-nine.

That’s the worst plus-minus rating on a team that, to this point in the season, is an overall plus-16 and tied for the fourth best rating in the entire NHL alongside the Montreal Canadiens.



Bruins GM Chiarelli: ‘Hard as ever’ to make trades right now

Peter Chiarelli

Peter Chiarelli would like to make a deal to improve his club.

Problem is, there’s no deal to make.

That’s what the Boston Bruins GM told CSNNE.com on Friday, saying the current landscape makes it difficult to pull off a trade.

“It’s as hard as its ever been or harder because of all these teams that are still in it,” said Chiarelli. “Teams feel like they only need to win three games and they’re back in it…and they are because of the condensed schedule.”

It makes sense that tight standings have frozen the trade market. But it’s also disappointing, because it wasn’t supposed to be this way.

When people learned the new CBA included the “Brian Burke clause” — a wrinkle allowing teams to retain salary in trades, a mechanism designed to make deals easier to complete — many figured this year’s trade deadline had the potential for fireworks.

Here’s what the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle wrote at the time:

This could be a fascinating new wrinkle in that way, as we’ve often seen players become untradeable due to their contracts and GMs like Brian Burke have pushed to allow more creativity in deals.

Whether it dramatically ups the number of trades being made remains to be seen, but that’s the hope from NHL executives right now.

The rule may have made previously “untradeable” players more moveable, but that hasn’t translated into deals.

(Though, it should be noted, Burke’s predecessor in Toronto — Dave Nonis — utilized the clause to move Matthew Lombardi to Phoenix in mid-January, retaining $500,000 in salary.)

As for Chiarelli, he’s still holding out hope for increased activity as the Apr. 3 trade deadline draws near.

Plenty of teams can fall out of contention over the next week and a half, which could allow for more conversations to take place — and Chiarelli confirmed talks have been underway.

“There’s more chatter and more talk because we were all in Toronto at the GM meetings,” he said. “I’d like to be able to do it earlier [this month] but I might not be able to, because the deal just might not be there.”